Monday, December 14, 2009

Project bits....

Last month I woke up with this great idea - why don't I make one Christmas gift or ornament each day in December until Christmas. Well, then I drank my first cup of coffee, slapped myself on the cheek and said loudly "get real woman!" A moment of temporary creative insanity once again cured by caffeine! However, I did dig out lots of old projects and tried to make a point of finished up some before the holidays. Now that I can do....
So first is this wild "Santa does Rodeo" fabric that I just had to have when it went on sale for a couple of dollars a yard...of course that was several years ago. (And for those folks South of the Equator I don't think Father Christmas would sit a bucking has to be Santa for that !) Anyway, this year I took it out and made three reversible aprons. (My father-in-law loves to cook and loves westerns so I'm hoping with his warped sense of humor he will like the apron!)

I also made another Christmas table-runner. Some of these fabrics aren't all that old but were leftovers from an earlier Christmas project so I prevented them from going into the bits and bobs stash in the back of the closet. The top for this table-runner came together in about 2-hours...sometimes a quick finish feels good. I have to quilt and bind it tonight since it is going to a silent auction for the local humane society this week.

Why so productive? It is cold and wet and did I mention COLD outside? Even Macbeth balks at the front door when it is time for his walk. To keep the cold outside I've also been working in the kitchen. I try to find some new recipes each Christmas but do test runs on them early the month. This year I was trying to come up with a Christmas cake that we used to get at an old bakery in Boston when I was growing up. It was sort of a cross between a pound cake and a fruit cake. So with a few tweaks to the "Fruited Pound Cake" recipe on the Land O'Lakes site I am very, very close.

Avenue Bakery "Fruited Pound Cake"
(Adapted from the Land O'Lakes website)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
grated rind of one lemon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup mixed candied fruit, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, cream cheese and sugars in a bowl and beat at medium speed until mixed. Add 1-1/4 cups of flour, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and lemon peel. Beat until no lumps are visible. Stir in by hand the remaining 1 cup of flour, candied fruit, cranberries, raisins and pecans.

Pour into 2 greased 8 by 4 inch pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan and allow to cool completely before wrapping. (This is best the day after it is baked...)


beth said...

I love that apron! He's going to love it!

Nines said...

Good for you in keeping things a little more simple for the holidays.

Unknown said...

The apron is a 'must have' for Christmas in a tropical country!
You are mistaken - after a couple of warming up or a matter of too much heat in the southern hemisphere - Santa will sit on a bucking bronco!!... :) lol
Very nice and rich colours your 'scrappy' table runner ... and Goldie is looking lovely as ever!

Tammy said...

the apron is to cute. and the table runner is sure to fetch a good bid - how wonderful of you to do it and support a great cause. your cake sounds delicious, i might have to give it a try.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

that cookie recipe you posted last week...well, my cookies are ALL GONE!!! yum. that runner is great sio!

Lori said...

I love the apron!!
I have a folder with some Christmas projects I wanted to do, but have decided to work on them over the every two months. That's the plan anyway. I find it hard to work on holiday stuff when it's 100 degrees!!
Way to go ont the finishes.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Glad you came to your senses...:o) I wish I could. I've just printed off the first 5 months of a BOM that I thought would be fun to tackle over the holidays. As the last page printed I thought, why didn't I just print the first block and see how it goes!! :o)

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

I love aprons but haven't made one yet, must fix that little problem!!! I cannot imagine a cold Christmas, we are heading to 30 degrees here, and it will be a lot hotter than that further north in Australia. Cold weather outside makes for lots of stitching inside though doesn't it? I do get a lot more done in winter! xo

Michelle said...

One ornament or Christmas Gift a Day for 25 days? My you are ambitious!

An I love your aprons! I've collected aprons for years and years.

sewkalico said...

Love the apron!!